GDPR Impact: Competitive Advantage

With just six months left before the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into enforcement, Microsoft's Modern Workplace webcast has offered us a wide-angled look at what's on the horizon.  The GDPR Impact webinar has gone live, with David Kemp and Elena Elkina bringing into focus for us the benefits, challenges, and ethical impacts of the regulation.

Moving away from the now commonplace angle of interpreting the GDPR according to its negatives, like the punitive nature of noncompliance, here we find the legislation, or at least its impact on businesses, cast in a new and potentially lucrative light. 

In embracing the GDPR, as Ms. Elkina points out, there is a wonderful opportunity to rebuild trust, transparency and data protection between businesses, consumers and regulators; which is absolutely necessary in a post-big data world where consumers don't know what of their personally identifiable information (PII) is had, and by whom.  Mr. Kemp seconds this notion, stating that compliance can actually create competitive advantage by providing a standard of confidence and trust in the way data is handled.

The notion of data hygiene is also highlighted in GDPR Impact.  Businesses who collect customer data need to be intimately aware of what data they collect, where they collect it from, how they use it, where they store it, and how long it's necessary to keep it.  This is not a once and your done situation, but rather, organizations should be doing routine, thorough self-evaluations or check-ups in order to stay healthy.

Kemp contends that there's an opportunity for return on investment in GDPR compliance.  He states that for most companies, 30%-40% of their data is redundant, obsolete or trivial.  With the huge of amount of money spent on data backup and recovery, there is much to be gained in cleaning up and clearing out the waste.

Not only are there cost savings found in increasing efficiency, but Elkina points out that GDPR compliance actually creates opportunities for innovation.  Rather than focusing on issues of noncompliance, firms can leverage their compliance to such privacy standards to their customers in order to provide a premium standard of service and data protection.  By sharing their maturity model, companies can set themselves apart from their competitors and be known by their customers as industry leaders, invested in protecting their data privacy.

There’s a trove of valuable information presented within the GDPR Impact webcast, regardless of whether your business is directly affected by the regulation. The principles discussed are sound and widely applicable. These are conversations we should be having if we want to stay ahead in today's fast-paced business landscape.

Disclosure: this is a Microsoft-sponsored brand post.